Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom! I’m looking forward to eating a dairy-free meal for Shabbos after eating anything and everything dairy to celebrate Shavuot. I’ve had my fill of cheese blintzes, bagels and lox, lasagna and cheese-topped onion soup. I’ve also just celebrated my birthday, so I’ve had more than my fill of sweets. I guess it’s time for me to eat more sensibly once again – less starch, more vegetables, and more protein – which is quite a challenge as I’m addicted to carbs!
Lisa Cantkier, a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and Jill Hillhouse, a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, collaborated on The Paleo Diabetes Diet Solution: Manage Your Blood Sugar with 125 Recipes Plus a 30-Day Meal Plan (Robert Rose). The authors are passionate advocates of nutrition education and whole foods eating. Although their book is not kosher, it is an excellent resource for those who want to manage their diabetes and many of the recipes can be adapted for the kosher cook.
Millions of people are living with diabetes and many experts believe that regular consumption of packaged and processed foods is the leading cause of diabetes and other chronic diseases. The foundation of the paleo diet is fresh, unprocessed grass-fed meat, whole fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts. It is a nutrient-dense, low-carb, fibre-rich diet high in vitamins and minerals.
The key message of the book: Food is the foundation of health. It is information that tells the body what to do and how to function. Our food is the most important element for blood sugar control. We can change our blood sugar balance and management as quickly as our next meal.
Recipes include Mexican Chicken Soup, Detox Vegetable Soup, Cauliflower Zucchini Hash Browns, Roasted Fennel and Onions, Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings, Greek Chicken Salad, Roasted Spaghetti Squash Noodles, Watermelon Salad, and Coconut Banana Soft-Serve.
The following paleo-inspired recipes from The Paleo Diabetes Diet Solution will give you the tools you need to manage or reverse high blood sugar levels while enjoying delicious food at the same time. Enjoy!!
NUT-CRUSTED PORTOBELLO SLICES
Makes 4 servings
These wonderfully meaty slices are incredibly flavourful and satisfying. They make a great side dish but can also be enjoyed as a hearty snack.
- Blender or food processor (optional)
4 portobello mushrooms
1 cup raw almonds (250 ml)
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt (2 ml)
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper (1 ml)
3 large free-range eggs, beaten
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (approx.) (60 ml)
- Remove mushroom stems and cut caps into long thin slices, about 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick.
- In blender, pulse almonds and garlic to the consistency of cornmeal. (Or chop them by hand using a large knife and a large cutting board.)
- Transfer almond meal to a plate and stir in salt and pepper.
- Place eggs in a wide, shallow container (such as a pie plate).
- In a large skillet, heat half the oil over medium heat. Working with one mushroom slice at a time, dip both sides in egg, shaking off excess, then press firmly into almond meal, coating well. As they are coated, immediately add slices to the skillet, arranging as many in the skillet as will fit in a single layer. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning once, or until golden brown on both sides. Transfer mushroom slices to a wire rack.
- Repeat with the remaining mushroom slices, egg and almond meal, adding oil and adjusting the heat as needed between batches. Discard any excess egg and almond meal. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
Nutrients per Serving:
399 calories, 35 g fat, 12 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 14 g protein
- Portobellos are cremini mushrooms that have been allowed to grow to full maturity.
- Mushrooms of all types will get soggy if you use water to clean them. Use a pastry brush or a damp paper towel to wipe away any dirt.
- You can use 1 tsp (5 ml) garlic powder in place of the fresh garlic. Add it in step 3, with the salt and pepper.
- Feel free to add any other ground spices or dried herbs you enjoy to the almond meal in step 3.
- It is the alpha- and beta-glucan molecules that are responsible for the beneficial effects of mushrooms, including positive immune and cardiovascular effects.
FLATTENED ROAST CHICKEN
Makes 6 servings
Flattening the chicken reduces the cooking time and helps ensure more even cooking so that every piece of chicken is moist and tender. Roasting vegetables with the chicken makes an easy all-in-one meal. You’ll love how tender and mild the roasted garlic cloves are!
- Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C)
- Shallow roasting pan or large rimmed baking sheet, lined with parchment paper
1 whole free-range chicken (3 to 4 lbs/1.5 to 2 kg), patted dry
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (45 ml)
1 tsp sea salt (5 ml)
1 tsp dried oregano (5 ml)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (2 ml)
1/2 tsp paprika (2 ml)
8 cloves garlic, peeled
6 medium carrots, quartered
2 medium onions, quartered
2 red bell peppers, quartered
- Place chicken, breast side down, on a cutting board. Using kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the backbone, from end to end; reserve backbone for another use. (You will be cutting through ribs, so use a firm grip and be careful of the cut ends of the ribs, which can be very sharp.) Turn the chicken breast side up and press down hard on the breasts to flatten and open the chicken completely. Place chicken, breast side up, in prepared pan.
- In a small bowl, combine oil, salt, oregano, pepper and paprika. Use half of this mixture to rub the chicken all over.
- In a large bowl, combine garlic, carrots, onions, red peppers and the remaining oil mixture, tossing well to coat. Scatter the vegetables around the chicken.
- Roast in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 F (74 C) and vegetables are tender.
- Transfer chicken to a cutting board, cover with a sheet of parchment paper and then a sheet of foil, so only the parchment paper is touching the chicken and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve chicken with vegetables on the side.
Nutrients per Serving:
277 calories, 14 g fat, 13 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 27 g protein
- You can substitute the fat of your choice for the olive oil.
- Save the backbone to make chicken stock.
- Chicken is an excellent source of vitamin B3 (niacin), which is important for energy production and the conversion of dietary proteins, carbohydrates and fats into usable energy.
COCONUT BANANA SOFT-SERVE
Makes 4 servings
You won’t be going back to commercial ice cream once you taste this! Plus, there’s no added sugar, stabilizers or preservatives – just frozen real food. You’ll need to plan ahead for this recipe, as it requires frozen ingredients.
- Ice cube trays
- Baking sheet, lined with waxed paper
- High-power blender or food processor
1 can (14 oz/400 ml) full-fat coconut milk
- Shake the can of coconut milk to make sure it is emulsified and the milk is smooth, without any lumps. Open the can and pour half the milk into ice cube trays. Freeze until solid. (Refrigerate the remaining coconut milk in an airtight glass container for another use.)
- Peel bananas and cut crosswise into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick slices. Arrange in a single layer on prepared baking sheet and freeze until solid.
- Add coconut milk cubes and frozen banana slices to the blender and process to the consistency of soft-serve ice cream, stopping the blender to stir as needed for even blending. Serve immediately.
Nutrients per Serving:
299 calories, 27 g fat, 17 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein
- Substitute 1 cup (250 ml) of any frozen sliced fruit for the bananas. Most fruit works well with coconut milk!
- Making homemade ice cream or soft-serve this way really works best with a high-power blender. When you can freeze the coconut milk and then blend it until it is like a slushy, there is no need to add any sugar, and you can enjoy a frozen treat without throwing your blood sugar out of whack.
Norene Gilletz is the leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada. She is the author of 12 cookbooks and divides her time between work as a food writer, food manufacturer, consultant, spokesperson, cooking instructor, lecturer, and cookbook editor. Norene lives in Toronto and her motto is “Food that’s good for you should taste good!” For more information, visit her website at www.gourmania.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org